Violating Special Speed Limits in Illinois
In Illinois, speeding in construction zones or near schools can have serious consequences for drivers. A new bill, recently signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner, amends the Illinois Vehicle Code in regards to speeding and court supervision. The new law enhances penalties for violating these types of special speed limits, but in some circumstances, allows violators to complete a court supervision program in order to keep the violation off of their driving records.
House Bill 1453
House Bill 1453, the amendment to Illinois’s speeding laws, addresses instances where special speed limits are violated. A person is guilty of aggravated speeding while passing schools or highway construction zones when he or she drives a vehicle at a speed that is:
- Traveling 26 miles per hour or more, but less than 35 miles per hour in excess of the posted special speed limit; or
- Traveling 35 miles per hour or more in excess of the speed limit.
The former is a Class B misdemeanor, and the latter a Class A misdemeanor.
Under certain circumstances, individuals can keep evidence of a traffic violation off of their driving records if the judge agrees to a sentence of court supervision. This involves obtaining an agreement from the court that supervision is appropriate, enrolling in and completing an approved defensive driving course, and providing proof to the court that the course was completed within the designated time period.
Although the new law does not alter the blanket ban on supervision for excessive speeding in urban school zones, it does make other concessions. For instance, an order of supervision is now available to a defendant charged with speeding in excess of 26 miles per hour in a highway construction or maintenance zone if the driver has never:
- Previously convicted for that (or a similar) violation; or
- Previously assigned supervision for that violation.
One possible defense in aggravated speeding cases is challenging the arresting officer’s visual estimation. If the officer did not use a radar to monitor the driver’s speed, then he or she may be able to challenge the method of speed detection.
Further, all speed monitoring equipment must be properly calibrated in order to give accurate readings. If the equipment used to detect the driver’s speed was not calibrated, this may be a viable defense.
Finally, hearings in aggravated speeding cases must be timely. If the date of the driver’s first court appearance is less than 14 days or more than 60 days after date of the violation, then the driver is eligible to have the case dismissed.
If you have been charged with or arrested for speeding, the advice of an attorney is essential. An experienced attorney may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Please contact the skilled Naperville criminal defense attorneys at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC for an initial consultation.